"Gone with the Fog" by UK-based architect Leo Sooseok Kim of MEDIUS Architects recently won first place in ArchTriumph's Venice Biennale Pavilion 2013 competition this past August.

"What is the first image of Venice? Many people only imagine the floating city itself. Someone thinks of archaic buildings and canals through the city. By the way, Venice has many historical stories that is going on till now. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe saw the sea for the first time in his life at Venice. Especially, he glorified the mystic atmosphere of Venice several times in his book 'Italian Journey'.

He mentioned the fog at Venice as the medium that completes Venice itself. Have you ever felt the mood at sunset and rainy day at St. Marco Square? If you are there, you can feel everything of Venice. There are many elements, which make the mood, such as fog, small boats, and poles that fixed boats. This project began with this motive. How to reflect such elements to the pavilion? It should be gone with the fog like the being of nothing."

Project details

Name: ArchTriumph Architecture Competition 2013 – General Stage
Project: Venice Biennale Pavilion
Site: San Marco Square in Venice, Italy
Title of Project: Gone with the Fog  
Site Use - Site Area (m²): Multipurpose
Building Area (m²): 1,440m²
Gross Floor Area (m²):  2,466m²
Building Coverage Ratio (%):  N/A (on the Sea)
Gross Floor Ratio (%): 169%
Building Scale: N/A
Stories above Ground: 7 stories
Stories below Ground: N/A (on the Sea)
Structure:   Aluminum and Stainless Steel Frame Structure
Maximum Height (m): 13m
Landscape Area: N/A (on the Sea)
Parking Lot: N/A (on the Sea)
Exterior Finish: Aluminum and Stainless Steel coated with waterproof painting

Photo: Nigel Young_Foster + Partners

Architect Joon Paik (Paik Joon-beom), who designed the tres cool Spaceport America in New Mexico, the world’s first commercial space port.
Paik—whom left for the States when he was 15—has been active mostly in the UK, where he’s worked for Foster + Partners for 12 years.

The Foster + Partners and URS team has won an international competition to build the first private spaceport in the world - The New Mexico Spaceport Authority Building. The sinuous shape of the building in the landscape and its interior spaces seek to capture the drama and mystery of space flight itself, articulating the thrill of space travel for the first space tourists. Making a minimal impact on the environment, the scheme will be the first facility of its kind and a model for the future.

The Spaceport lies low within the desert-like landscape of the site in New Mexico and seen from the historic El Camino Real trail, the organic form of the terminal resembles a rise in the landscape. Using local materials and regional construction techniques, it is both sustainable and sensitive to its surroundings.

Organised into a highly efficient and rational plan, the Spaceport has been designed to relate to the dimensions of the spacecraft. There is also a careful balance between accessibility and privacy. The astronauts’ areas and visitor spaces are fully integrated with the rest of the building to convey the thrill of space travel. The more sensitive zones - such as the control room - are visible, but have limited access.

Visitors and astronauts enter the building via a deep channel cut into the landscape. The retaining walls form an exhibition space that documents the history of the region and its settlers, alongside a history of space exploration. The strong linear axis continues on a galleried level to the ‘superhangar’ - which houses the spacecraft and the simulation room – through to the terminal building.

Designed to have minimal embodied carbon and few additional energy requirements, the scheme has been designed to achieve the prestigious LEED Platinum accreditation. The low-lying form is dug into the landscape to exploit the thermal mass, which buffers the building from the extremes of the New Mexico climate as well as catching the westerly winds for ventilation. Natural light enters via skylights, with a glazed façade reserved for the terminal building, establishing a platform for the coveted views onto the runway.

Facts about Spaceport America

Site Area:

300,000 ft2
Gross Area: 93,453 ft2
Net Area Western zone: 4463 ft2 / 414 m2
Hangar: 55,000 ft2
Public viewing gallery: 5,079 ft2
Tenant: Virgin Galactic

Architectectural Lead Design:
Norman Foster
Grant Brooker
Antoinette Nassopoulos-Erickson
Joon Paik
Hiroyuki Sube
See Teck Yeo
Kristine Ngan

Architecture and Engineering: URS Corporation
Project Manager, Structural and MEP Engineer Architecture: SMPC Architects
Environmental Design/LEED: PHA Consult
Client: New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA)

Foster + Partners

Art Space Pinocchio in Pocheon

Pinocchio, a space for artistic experience nestling in the secluded rural landscape near Unak Mountain in Pocheon, was a deserted space for more than 2 years. The owner wanted the bleak empty space to be remodeled as a space for artistic experience for children, while specific programs required exhibition, experience, book cafe, performance, education etc.

The floor height of the existing building was considerable and the second floor was gable-roofed. Imagining Pinocchio in the stomach of a whale, I proposed a space with ‘a house in house’ and for this I divided up large spaces vertically in the concept of attics and adjusted them to fit the scale of children.

I tried to create a space that stimulates the imagination and susceptibility of children, meeting the purpose of space that the owner asked for. Instead of inducing interest by decorative and visual elements, I induced the children themselves to communicate with the interior and exterior of the building, roaming around various spaces of the building.

Architects: UTAA
Location: Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Area: 495 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Jin Hyo-suk


Architects: Archium
Location: Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Site Area: 383 m2
Site Coverage Area : 220.99 m2


Sannaedeul Children's Centre was the most precious place for children from low-income families in Maryang, a small seaside village located at the far southeast end of the Korean peninsula. It was the only playground, learning arena and shelter for the children. The centre acted as another home and community in which they shared and grew hopeful dreams with one another.

However, the dreams seemed to have ended when a devastating hurricane hit the village last summer of 2012. The centre was totally destroyed and left with nothing. Only to find the rubble of the building, the children still came to the site everyday after school and played on the ruins of what once was another home of theirs.

Fortunately, the news was heard by Korea's major broadcast "SBS" and "Childfund Korea" who agreed to sponsor and launched the project of rebuilding the centre. Many other public and private companies also joined the project, giving a momentum to build the children's dream again.

The clue for design was found among the pictures of a new centre drawn by the children themselves. The strategy had to be clear. It was to create various and plentiful spaces by repeating and transforming a simple "house-shaped" space suggested in the children's drawings. Necessary programs were to be embedded into that volume. Then, they had to be connected with and divided by one another by the needs as well.

As a result, the centre could have a dynamic-shaped roof by the aforementioned repeated and transformed house shapes. The roof shape has created a plentiful inner space and diverse expressions of exterior at the same time. The overlapped roof has also brought up the image of the sea waves to the children of Maryang, the fishing village. To further stimulate children's imagination, we also installed fish-shaped instruments and blue lightings under the ceiling, giving the image of swimming fish.

The center was aimed to have bright and warm interiors by getting enough natural lighting of the seaside through wide windows. The multi-purpose hall of a ground floor was extended to open outdoor space. And the study room on the second floor was connected to a terrace with a slide on which the children can play, looking over the most beautiful seaside view of the world. We hoped that there is no border between inside and outside space as well as playing and studying for children in the centre.

Location: Gangjin, Jeonranamdo, South Korea
Year: Oct.2012 - Jan. 2013
Area: 223 m2
Structure: HM
Interior: SM interior
Exterior: team of Ra Kwonsu
Window: WIT
Lighting: SAMIL / LIMAS


‘Miega’ is the project that the architect designed not only interior, but every parts from space design, programming, space developing and reproduction of props.

The concept of ‘Miega’ is inspired from past ‘village’ with scene of alley and calm permanent environment and the architect wanted to return aspect of hair salon which was reception room of neighbors and place for cultural & public community in the past. House formed of mass that minimum module for a person, is applied for comfort in the salon and it is formed together with path, alley, corner and shops to create public community. It is designed with installation of space within space and architecture within architecture.

The elements like alley, yard & house formed as result cause new forms and allow spatial experience by observing users or moving them. Different irregular frames are consisted in each unit in the shape of house and these frames become window for various scenes such as form of people and moving silhouette. Moreover, new images are created by overlap of frames and experience of continuous visual observation of space is provided.

Without transforming physical structure of basic unit of ‘Miega’, the hair salon can be also used as private party, exhibition, gallery, café and flea market, etc. According to form and type of user, it becomes variable space to flexibly and openly accept programs and contents of other uses. Also, the entrance is not a general reception but ‘relaxing’ space for easy access to become a place for every villager to come and enjoy. Beyond the concept of simple hair salon, ‘Miega’ is the space to inform the start of ‘village within village’ or ‘small community within village’.

design: oh, sae min / bang by min emerging design group
design team: kwak, changwook, yoo, hyunduck / bang by min emerging design group
location: 297-1 seongbuk-dong, seongbuk-gu, seoul, korea
program: boutique hair salon
built area: 124.81m2
completion: april 2012
finishing materials:
floor: polished tile, epoxy coating / wall : oil-stain finish on larch plywood, white water paint finish on double
plasterboard / ceiling: white water paint finish on double plasterboard
photographer: jungwoo choi, jaeyoon kim


Located at the alley of Seongbuk-dong where community of village has formed for a long time, ‘H-House’ is a house to keep the meaning to show the virtue secretly. This house reveals itself without clumsy and stimulative feeling in the scenery of old alley, suitably for its name. ‘Sae Min Oh’ seemed to concentrate on the details somewhat excessively at this project. He has pride and feels affinity to this project because he has proceeded it with craftsmanship from plan to completion for a long time.

The site of ‘H-House’ had the slope ground where the front level is lower about 8m than the back level, which became a problem in designing it. Besides this physical problem, the architect had more difficulties with the client’s demands ; to create a house for three generations, a house with good daylighting and ventilation on the basement and the first floor. Consequently, it is a successful project because the client is satisfied with it.

Firstly, the architect had to design a space where three generations could live together and privately at the same time, in order that they could behave individually while being together. The architect created the second floor as an interspace of this house divided into three floors, where they can form a community of family, behave individually and have their own area. He divided the living room on the second floor into three levels, which give each member of family their own area naturally. This space opened but different in levels enables family to do privately and separately. And folding door and changeable wall make it possible to expand or divide the space according to the user’ demand.

Secondary, daylighting and ventilation on the basement and the first floor were very important in this house because the ground level had the big difference between the front ground and the back ground. It is said that the biggest problem of the existing house before ‘H-House’ was just the daylighting. The house was filled with dark and damp air because the basement and the first floor were not lighted and ventilated well. In order to solve this problem, the architect placed courtyard and sunken garden, connected from the lower floor to the sky, encouraging the brightness to the whole building.

Lastly, the architect solved the client’s third demand, to have a commercial space for rent on the basement floor. It is just beauty shop ‘Miega’. Beauty shop ‘Miega’ involves the formative element of ‘H-House’ and the shape of this village Seongbuk-dong, and it attracts the attention with its unique space design.

Exposed concrete and wooden panels in mud color created the more effective result than the luxurious materials, with the constructing details the architect insisted on completing, although they are not expensive. The different materials to compose the building emphasize their property of matter and create the various looks with their shadow. The designer also used the materials by cutting them into small unit. These details make this house have a shape to reveal the virtue secretly with the sense of existence but without any overawing sense.

Architects: BANG by MIN – Sae Min Oh
Location: Seongbuk-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Architect In Charge: Sae Min Oh
Design Team: Changwook Kwak, Hyunduck Yoo
Area: 403.56 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Joonhwan Yoon


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